Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

On War and the International United Front

First Published: Forward to the Party! Struggle for the Party!, No. 4, [n.d.].
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of several issues of the special journal on the programme (and other documents) of the party. The purpose of this journal is to provide an important forum for discussion and struggle around the programme (and other documents) among all future party members.

None of these articles represents the line of the RU; none has been approved (or disapproved) by leadership bodies of the RU on any level. Instead these articles represent the opinions, criticisms and suggestions of particular comrades based on their study of these specific points of the draft programme (and other documents) and their own summation around them.

For this issue of the journal, as with the last one, a tremendous number of articles were submitted. This reflects the fact that the central importance of forming the party now is being more thoroughly grasped by all comrades. It further reflects the fact that the process of forming the party from the bottom up, and linking theory with practice in discussion and struggle, is developing and deepening. All this is laying the firmest foundation for carrying the process through and forming the party, united to carry out the correct line as the advanced detachment of the working class.

In this issue of the journal we have limited the number of articles and printed those which most focus the discussion and struggle around the main points and will enable the journal to further this process the most at this time. For this reason many articles, which were submitted but did not concentrate on these main focuses, were not printed. But, whether or not they appear in the journal the articles submitted will make an important contribution to the process of forming the party and will be used in one form or another as part of the process.

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The following is a response to an article submitted for this issue of the journal on the international situation. The editors of the journal felt the article submitted should be responded to, and assigned one comrade to write the response, which begins below. (The article submitted, to which the following is a reply, begins on page 3.)

The article in this journal sharply criticizing the line of the Draft Programme (DP) on the international situation and the world wide united front tries to replace proletarian internationalism with a line that must be characterized as “uphold international bourgeois democracy.” At the heart of this whole criticism is the disagreement with the basic line of the DP that “The working class of all countries faces the task of building broadest united front, on a world scale, aimed at the ruling classes of these two superpowers, while at the same time uniting all who can be united within each country to continue the battle for socialist revolution.” (my emphasis) In opposition to this, the authors of the criticism, in spite of their claims to the contrary, place the struggle for proletarian revolution in conflict with the world wide united front and in fact liquidate the “battle for socialist revolution.”

At the foundation of all this is the fact that the criticism is rooted not in the outlook of the working class–dialectical materialism–but in idealism and bourgeois logic (metaphysics). Although the criticism charges that “The DP does not proceed ’from the actual world situation taken as a whole and from a class analysis of the fundamental contradictions in the contemporary world,’” it is exactly the fact that the DP’s line on the international situation is based on the stand of the working class and a class analysis of the forces in the world wide united front that most upsets the authors of the criticism. (Apparently they are even disturbed by the fact that the DP points out that the socialist countries are characterized by the fact that the working class holds state power there– they leap at this to make the ridiculous claim that the DP denies that the socialist countries as a whole are allies of the proletariat in the U.S. and other countries!)

The criticism covers itself with scattered phrases maintaining that the working class–specifically in Europe–must not rely on the bourgeoisie in the struggle against the superpowers, that the working class is the leading force, that it must strive for socialism, etc., etc. But the criticism presents the struggle of countries as the main force in the international struggle. It denies, in essence (though, of course not in words) that countries are divided into classes and that bourgeois forces rule the non-socialist countries. The authors of the criticism, in the name of the united front against the two superpowers, deny the decisive role of the masses of people, and reduce the working class to a subordinate role to the bourgeoisie, a tail wagged behind the bourgeois dog.

Line on Europe

This stands out most sharply in their line on Europe, specifically West Europe. First they claim that “All these components of the WWUF (world wide united front) have a material interest in bringing down their main enemy, both superpowers.” (emphasis in original) That the bourgeois ruling classes of Europe (and other areas) have contradictions with the two superpowers, that in certain ways they resist domination by the superpowers, and that the proletariat must make use of these contradictions and support this resistance, without however giving unconditional support or subordinating itself to these bourgeois classes–all this is certainly true. But do these authors really expect us to believe that the ruling classes of Europe have ”a material interest in bringing down” the two superpowers!? To replace them with what – socialism under the rule of the working class?

Further, the authors of the criticism say that the struggle of the of the working class in Europe is “for an independent Europe and for socialism.” and more, that socialist revolution in Europe “can only be achieved through building the united front against both SPs [superpowers].” While it is certainly true that the working class in the European countries should build the united front against the two superpowers, what our authors are saying here comes down to the line that it is only through the fight for independence that the proletariat will be able to advance to socialism. However much they may deny it, our authors are projecting a two-stage struggle in Europe–first for independence, in which the proletariat unites with the bourgeoisie but struggles for leadership, and then, emerging out of this stage, the second stage struggle for socialism.

And our authors have determined this to be the case now, even under the conditions when there is not yet a war in Europe. If the working class is confronted with the actuality of such a war–and the liklihood of this is growing–then it will have to deal with this situation, this necessity, in accordance with the actual conditions (more on this shortly). But while the working class must prepare for future developments, it is not the task of the communists to impose future possibilities onto the present situation and impose on the working class necessity which it does not presently face.

What lies at base of our authors’ line is that they think the communists should give up on winning the workers in Europe–and specifically winning them away from the revisionist parties which hold considerable sway in the working class in a number of European countries–on the basis of their class interests and instead should rely on the bourgeoisie of these countries to “win” the workers on the basis of “national interest.”

Question of NATO

In case there is any doubt about the line of our authors, look at what they say about NATO. First they admit that “At this point the U.S. is the overlord in NATO,” but then they hasten to add that “in case of an attack by the SU NATO is the only defense organization Western Europe has.” Then they say that with regard to the role of NATO in the future, there are two possibilities–either “Europe kicks the U.S. out of it and takes charge or builds up its defense organization independent of NATO. The second solution seems the more likely one.”

Our authors refuse to face up to a third possibility– that the U.S. will maintain, even strengthen its domination in NATO and that the war in Europe will not necessarily take place as a “war of liberation” by Europe against the two superpowers, but as a war between two imperialist blocs, headed by the two superpowers (NATO vs. Warsaw Pact). In such a case–and it is certainly a real possibility–what would be wrong with the working class in Europe taking the stand of “turning the imperialist war into a civil war” in the European countries themselves? After all, as Lenin pointed out, “a war between imperialist Great Powers ... or in alliance with the Great Powers is an imperialist war... And in this war ’defense of the fatherland’ is a deception, an attempt to justify the war.” (“A Caricature of Marxism,” Vol. 23, p. 34, emphasis Lenin’s)

Unlike our authors, I am not attempting now to determine the actual character of the war, but only pointing to possibilities that they avoid and pointing out that in different concrete conditions the task of the proletariat must be different, even though its basic principles and its long-term goal remain the same. In any case, no possibility with regard to the war can be used to liquidate the class struggle and the goal of socialism, and to preach reliance on the bourgeoisie as our authors in fact are doing.

But there is something even more fundamentally wrong with their line and specifically with their reasoning around NATO. They argue, in substance, that so long as the Soviet Union maintains its military strength and alliances in Europe, to struggle to break up NATO “is to invite the SU to take over and make the situation even worse that it is now.”

What they are saying is that in the face of the threat of Soviet attack against Western Europe (they don’t even deal with the possibility that the U.S. imperialists might launch an attack to the East in Europe in the face of Soviet gains–even economic and political gains–in the West), the only thing that West Europe (a classless West Europe) has to rely on is NATO-really U.S. imperialism, which they admit is now “the overlord” in NATO. Where do the masses of people figure into all this? Simply–they don’t.

The correct stand, of course, is to struggle against both superpower military blocs in Europe (and elsewhere). But to argue that until Western Europe has its own “defense organization,” and unless the Warsaw Pact is “dissolved” at the exact same time as NATO, NATO must be maintained–even with U.S. imperialism as “overlord”–is to put yourself in a bourgeois logical trap. Again, it reduces the masses to a tail on the bourgeoisie–even the U.S. bourgeoisie– and recognizes no real, independent role for the working class. It is the “lesser of two evils” line on the international level. It is the same kind of thinking that Lenin criticized in speaking of ”a bourgeois who believes that a war started by the governments must necessarily end as a war between governments.” (See Lenin, Three Articles on War And Peace, “Socialism and War,” p. 25, Peking edition, 1966)

When combined with the earlier statements on NATO–and with the specific refusal to deal with the possibility of the U.S. maintaining NATO as its tool of military aggression–what our authors’ line comes down to is to unite all who can be united (even U.S. imperialism) against the Soviet Union. While they talk about both superpowers (even emphasize “both”) they are really saying that the Soviet Union alone is the main enemy of the people of the world and the sole source (or only really dangerous source) of aggression in Europe, the focal point of the future war. They are determining now that the character of WW3 will be a “united front against fascism” with the Soviet Union taking the place of Germany in WW2.

Stalin Statement

This is the real point of their use of the quote from Stalin, that WW2 “assumed from the very outset the character of an anti-fascist war.” This statement was* made by Stalin in February, 1946. While I do not pretend to know all the ins and outs of the struggle at that time-both on the part of the Soviet Union in the international arena and within the Soviet Party itself– it’s clear that at that time the Soviet Union was attempting to make use of contradictions among the imperialists and to maintain certain agreements that had been made with the U.S.-British bloc, while the U.S.-British bloc was breaking these agreements, attempting once more to encircle and threatening to attack the Soviet Union.

In this situation it may have been very difficult for Stalin to say, “Well, as you know the Second World War arose out of the contention of the imperialists for world domination and began as a war between imperialist bandits.” Lenin pointed out that it is sometimes necessary to make compromises-with bandits–and it is not always so simple or useful to curse bandits as bandits under such circumstances. Mao Tsetung criticized the infantile “ultra-left” line that demanded, during the formation of the anti-Japanese United Front, that if the Chinese communists made agreements with any bourgeois “leader” then “we must call him a counter-revolutionary at the same moment.” (see “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” Vol. 1, p. 164)

But, whatever the particular circumstances, and the necessity faced by Stalin and the Soviet Union in early 1946, the fact is that WW2 did arise out of the contention between the imperialists for world domination and did begin as a war between imperialists. “The working class cannot support such a war,” the Comintern emphasized at the outbreak of the war, in the fall of 1939. The war was a “war by the ruling circles of Britain, France and Germany to decide who shall dominate the world.” “Down with the imperialist war.” This was the analysis of the Comintern, before the German attack on the Soviet Union and the change in the character of the war resulting from this. (Quotes are from a manifesto of the Communist International, issued November 7, 1939.)

This did not mean that, in China, for example, the Chinese people should not unite all possible forces and even make use on contradictions among the imperialists to isolate and attack the main enemy in China at the time–Japanese imperialism. But that did not change the basis on which WW2 began or the overall character of WW2 at its outset. (As the DP states, the change in the overall character of WW2 came with the attack on the Soviet Union, which meant that the immediate task of the international proletariat was to defend the Soviet Union. Similar circumstances could arise in the future – and as the DP points out, we must arm the workers in this country with the understanding that the international proletariat must regard and defend the socialist countries as its own – but, as I said before, it is not the task of communists to impose future possibilities onto the present situation or impose necessity on the working class which it does not presently face. And at all times the working class and its party must concretely analyse the actual situation and alignment of forces, and determine its policy not by mechanically applying what was done in the past–and certainly not by basing itself on what might happen in the future–but by determining what will advance the overall struggle given the actual situation.)

Stalin himself in “Economic Problems of Socialism” (written in 1951-52) summed up the basis of WW2 and the change in its character after the invasion of the Soviet Union. The U.S.-British bloc, he wrote, built up Germany’s economy ”with a view to setting a recovered Germany against the Soviet Union, to utilizing her against the land of socialism. But Germany directed her forces in the first place against the Anglo-French-American bloc. And when Hitler Germany declared war on the Soviet Union, the Anglo-French-American bloc, far from joining with Hitler Germany was compelled to enter into a coalition with the USSR against Hitler Germany.” (my emphasis) “Consequently,” Stalin pointed out, “The struggle of the capitalist countries for markets and their desire to crush their competitors proved in practice to be stronger than the contradictions between the capitalist camp and the socialist camp.” (my emphasis)

“Relying on the U.S. Imperialists”

The use of the February, 1946 quote from Stalin, like the whole thrust of the criticism, is merely an attempt by the authors to promote reliance on the bourgeoisie in Europe, even to promote the line of relying on the U.S. imperialists as “defense” against the Russian social-imperialists and to determine now that the character of WW3 will be a united front against the social-fascist Soviet Union.

To cover themselves the authors try to use the fact that China, as a socialist country, uses its state to state relations in a certain way and makes certain agreements with non-socialist governments as tactics to advance the international struggle, to make use of certain contradictions and unite all possible forces, on a world scale, against the two superpowers. The authors try to say that the line of the proletarian party in different countries should follow exactly these actions of China. If we are to believe our authors these agreements and other similar actions of China are the sum total of its international line. To follow our authors’ reasoning to its logical conclusion, China does not base itself on proletarian internationalism, really cares nothing about the world revolution, does not actually support the revolutionary struggles of the working class and other oppressed people around the world, and is not concerned with the achievement of socialism in other countries. Exactly the opposite, of course, is the truth.

Our authors even quote from Mao Tsetung’s 1946 statement on the international situation, but they do not quote–or base themselves on–the essential thrust of Mao’s 1946 statement. “The forces of reaction are definitely preparing a third world war, and the danger of war exists,” Mao begins in this article. In this situation, as noted earlier, the Soviet Union was making certain compromises with the U.S., Britain, and France. But, Mao stresses, “Such compromise does not require the people in the countries of the capitalist world to follow suit and make compromises at home. The people in those countries will continue to wage different struggles in accordance with their different conditions.” (Vol. 4, p. 87)

Does this principle still apply in today’s world, and does it apply to the working class and the masses of people in Europe as well as other areas? Apparently our authors do not think so, but I do, anyway.

How do these principles apply in today’s world? Today there are two main enemies of the people of the world, the ruling classes of the two superpowers. The working class in every country must actively build and give leadership to the struggle against superpower domination, but this does not and must not replace its struggle against its own ruling class. As the DP states, the working class must learn how to “correctly combine these tasks (struggle against the superpowers and uniting all who can be united within each country to continue the battle for socialism) so that it neither narrows the international united front nor loses sight of the goal of socialism.”

With regard to Europe in particular–the focal point of superpower contention–the working class must lead the fight against superpower domination–economic, political and military–even supporting certain moves of the ruling classes of the developed countries in opposing the superpowers. (This, by the way, is what the DP means when it says that “in this conflict (my emphasis) the proletariat supports them against the superpowers.” The DP points to making use of contradictions and analyzes the class basis of these contradictions, which, again, apparently angers our authors, for they lash out with the flimsy “left” cover that the DP is advocating support of the ruling classes of the developed countries in their drive for profit! But the working class must not stop its struggle against its own ruling class for socialism in the European countries, even at the same time as it mobilizes the masses to oppose superpower aggression in any form and prepares its own ranks and the masses to deal with the growing possibility of a world war, with Europe as the focal point.

Again, as to who is really covering up the class nature of the bourgeoisies of Europe, note how our authors say, “We must oppose the European imperialists when they try to make deals with the SPs, when they attack the Third World countries or if they attack their own people.” (my emphasis) [IF?] This is Kautskyism all over again, treating imperialism as just oppression of the Third World and not the system of capitalist exploitation in its highest and final stage, which is always attacking its own people – in various forms, not the least of which its use of the state as its arm of repression and dictatorship–and which must and can only be overthrown by the working class.

Spontaneous Tendency

Here, in the U.S., it is especially crucial for the working class to support the world wide struggle against both superpowers. But, at the same time, the party of the U.S. working class has the special duty to expose and oppose the aggression of the U.S. imperialists, while putting this in the overall context of opposing all superpower contention, aggression and moves toward world war. The spontaneous tendency among the masses in this country is not to underestimate the aggressive character of the Soviet Union, but to follow the line of the U.S. ruling class that the Russians are THE aggressors and U.S. actions are “defense against aggression.”

In today’s world, the U.S. wants to maintain the present status quo, which favors it (in the final analysis it wants to and must, expand). The people of the world want to change the present status quo in accordance with their own interests. The Russian rulers, in a fundamentally different way, in accordance with their own imperialist interests, also want to change the present status quo. This makes the international situation all the more complicated, because wherever the people rise up against U.S. imperialism – which still has the largest “sphere of influence”–the Soviets attempt to move in to take over, and they even try to take advantage of the desire of the masses for change and revolution to instigate and control movements for their own imperialist aims.

The stand of the working class–keeping in mind always the goal of socialism–must be to support every genuine struggle for independence, liberation and revolution, and to oppose all superpower interference, domination and aggression, whatever form it takes.

But the present situation, and the tactics of the Russian social-imperialists in particular, opens the door to the line that any attempt to change the world status quo must not be supported, because it will strengthen the Soviets. This, unfortunately, is what the line of our authors comes down to, a line that in essence dovetails with that of the U.S. imperialists.

This is why the line of our authors is all the more dangerous. They claim that the DP underestimates the Soviet danger, seizing on the demand in the DP to “End all U.S. military alliances and military aid to U.S. puppets,” and failing to note that the same demand adds “oppose all superpower aggression, bullying and interference in the internal affairs of other countries”–which certainly includes the Warsaw Pact, for example.

The real fact is that our authors seriously downplay the aggressive nature of U.S. imperialism and actually oppose the struggle against its attempts to use NATO and other means to carry out domination and aggression and contention with the Russian social-imperialists. The line of their criticism is not a line of opposing the two superpowers, and especially as a line for the party of the U.S. working class would lead away from our internationalist duties to say the least. It is not a line of relying on the masses, not a line that supports and advances the struggle for proletarian revolution in the U.S. and internationally.

The authors of the criticism turn things upside down in saying that the DP does not rely on the working class but “blames our backwardness on the workers.” In fact, it is the authors of the criticism who, at base, reveal a fundamental failure to believe that the working class, led by its party, can see through the deception of the imperialists and can be mobilized to fight in its own class interests.

This won’t do. The Revolutionary Communist Party of the USA at its very foundation must be based on the outlook of the working class and uphold and fight for the interests of the proletariat world wide. This is especially crucial at this time, when the party is being formed in the situation where on the one hand the danger of world war, arising from superpower contention-and from the very nature of the imperialist system–is growing, and, on the other hand the struggle of the international working class, uniting with all possible allies, is advancing, in the face of great difficulties and dangers, toward the goal of socialism and ultimately communism world wide.

The Revolutionary Communist Party must not go the way of Browderism, it must not degenerate into revisionism as the CP did. This is a life and death question for our class.

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Comrades, this paper deals mainly with three questions on which the DP has a wrong line: 1) The international situation; 2) The world wide united front against imperialism aimed at the superpowers; 3) The tasks of the U.S. proletariat within it.

These are fundamental questions and we felt it was necessary not just to rewrite the sections concerned. We have tried to outline the world situation on which-together with our analysis of the internal contradictions of the U.S.-our strategy for revolution in the U.S. must be based. This is the reason why the paper is so long.

Contrary to the DP, we think that the so-called “three worlds” analysis is valid and that the World wide united front against both superpowers, which is based on this analysis, is the correct strategy for the international communist movement today.

This worldwide united front contains the following components:
–The workers of the world are the leading force.
–The Third World countries (developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, including China, which is a developing socialist country) are the main force.
–The Second World (the capitalist and imperialist countries except both superpowers) in their struggle against hegemony are an auxiliary force.

These struggles, while different in form, advance the proletarian revolution on a world scale and find expression in the slogan: COUNTRIES WANT INDEPENDENCE, NATIONS WANT LIBERATION AND PEOPLE WANT REVOLUTION.

The DP, while paying lipservice to the world wide united front, violates it in fact in many ways. The most glaring error occurs when the DP, in calling for troops, etc. of the U.S. only to be withdrawn, objectively takes the side of the Soviet Union.

We are confident that this paper will spark plenty of healthy struggle which will lead to a correction of our line on the international situation and enable us to make revolution in this country and fulfill our internationalist duty to the people of the world.

Here are a few theoretical works which could help comrades to assess today’s situation:
1) Foundations of Leninism, J. Stalin (Chapters III, VI, and VII).
2) “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement.”
3) UN speech by Teng Hsiao-ping, April 10, 1974.
4) Documents, 10th National Congress of the CPC (pp. 21-26).

I. The World Situation and Our Tasks

The present world situation is characterized by turmoil which sharpens all the basic contradictions in the world. In the Report to the Ninth Party Congress, the CPC correctly pointed these out: “the contradiction between the oppressed nations on the one hand and imperialism and social-imperialism on the other; the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist and revisionist countries; the contradiction between imperialist and social-imperialist countries and among the imperialist countries; and the contradiction between the socialist countries on the one hand and imperialism and social-imperialism on the other.” Outstanding in this period are the contradictions between the two superpowers (SPs) and the people of the world and the contradictions between the SPs.

As Chou En-lai pointed out in his report to the Tenth Party Congress of the CPC, “We are still in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution.” Lenin and Stalin developed the strategy and tactics of the proletarian revolution for this era and “they remain the theoretical basis guiding our thinking today.”

For the RCP this also has to be our point of departure for analyzing the world situation.

In Foundations of Leninism, Stalin lays out clearly why it is not sufficient today for any revolutionary Communist Party to proceed in its class analysis and strategy for revolution from conditions within its national boundaries alone. Stalin says: “Formerly, the analysis of the pre-requisites for the proletarian revolution was usually approached from the point of view of the economic state of individual countries. Now this approach is no longer adequate. Now the matter must be approached from the point of view of the economic state of all or the majority of countries, from the point of view of the state of world economy.”

Stalin continues to say that today under the world wide system of imperialism, it is necessary to speak of “world proletarian revolution; for the separate national fronts of capital have become links in a single chain called the world front of imperialism, which must be opposed by a common front of the revolutionary movement in all countries.” And finally: “Formerly the proletarian revolution was regarded exclusively as the result of the internal development of a given country. Now, this point of view is no longer adequate. Now the proletarian revolution must be regarded primarily as the result of the development of the contradictions within the world system of imperialism, as the result of the breaking of the chain of the world imperialist front in one country or another.” (Foundations, pp. 28, 29)

Any revolutionary party in the world must, in determining its strategy and tactics for the revolution, take into account the general line of the international communist movement. For the ’60s this general line was laid down in the statement by the CPC, “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement.” The essence of this line was that the workers of the world should unite with the oppressed nations and peoples, the socialist camp, and build a broad united front to oppose U.S. imperialism.

Since the CPC pointed out in the “Proposal Concerning the General Line” that the main enemy of the people of the world is U.S. imperialism, that world has changed. What has changed? U.S. imperialism has been weakened around the globe mainly by the united struggles of the Third World peoples, with the peoples of Indochina in the forefront of the struggle, supported by the American people and peoples around the world. The Soviet Union (SU) has been turned into a social-imperialist country after the revisionists took power there. Today, both SPs contend for world hegemony. While U.S. imperialism is on the decline, Soviet social-imperialism is temporarily on the rise in the vain hope of enslaving the whole world and building a new Tsarist empire.

Accordingly, the socialist camp which was referred to in the “Proposal Concerning the General Line” no longer exists today. The situation today is such that it is no longer sufficient to call for a broad united front just against U.S. imperialism–as was correct in the ’50s and ’60s. Today the general line is to unite all who can be united in a world wide united front (WWUF) against both SPs. Why is this necessary? And on what real situation is this conclusion based?

Europe–An Outline of the Main Contradictions

As the DP correctly points out, Europe is the main area of contention of the SPs for hegemony. This results in a very complicated situation where many contradictions have to be analyzed in order to understand the situation.

In his great work. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin points out that it is a characteristic sign of imperialism that it seeks hegemony over industrial countries and not just agricultural countries, as was maintained by the renegade Kautsky. This means that in their aim to control the world, the two SPs each has to try to maintain its own spheres of influence, particularly in Europe as a hinterland for expanding into each other’s territories all around the globe. Many indications confirm this fact.

This drive for hegemony, which consists of economic plunder, political blackmail, military occupation and many other forms, lays the material foundations, first, for a potentially irreconcilable contradiction between the material interests of the countries of Europe (and the rest of the 2nd World) and those of the SPs; second: for common struggle of the 2nd and 3rd World against the SPs; and finally: for a united front in the 2nd World led by the proletariat for independence and socialism. Today U.S. imperialism’s position has been greatly weakened–though not defeated–by the struggle of the people of the world as well as by its internal contradictions. In the present situation in Europe, the SU has a clear advantage. This means that the greatest threat to European peace is coming from the SU, although it is the contention between the U.S. and the SU which is the underlying reason why the situation in and around Europe is so tense. Despite all the talk by both SPs about maintaining a “balance of power,” in the real world there is no such thing. Chiao Kuan-hua pointed out recently, referring to the SPs, that “as far as balance is concerned, it has always been relative and temporary whether in nature or in human society, while imbalance is absolute and constant.” (Speech to the UN 29th Session)

A look at the military, political, and economic facts confirms that the SU has an edge in Europe.

Military: Two-thirds of the SU army, navy and air force is directed toward Western Europe. In terms of military materiel and soldiers, the Warsaw Pact (WP) has superiority over NATO. The military budget of the WP countries exceeds that of the NATO countries by far. Recently the SU pulled off one of the biggest war games in European history, named “Ocean 75,” 220 ultramodern warships took part in this exercise which may be seen as a clear indication of the Soviet military strategy of encircling Western Europe from its flanks in the Mediterranean and the Baltic and North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. This view is supported by recent events in Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, the Balkan countries, etc. and the Scandinavian countries to the north. The situation is accompanied by great contradictions within NATO which result in a very uncoordinated military apparatus (see events in Turkey, Greece, Portugal, France, etc.)

The so-called European Security Conference and Mutual Balanced Troop Reduction Conference are the main push by the SU to pull the wool over people’s eyes and peddle their “detente.” They also do this by taking credit for the great October Revolution and using the Revisionist parties of Europe as a Trojan Horse, which are directed to actively undermine the national defense of the European countries (or else what would be the reason for the Moscow-led revisionist parties advocating that their Western European countries stay in NATO? cf. Portugal), as well as presenting the SU as a representative of peace and justice.

Economic: More and more West European countries depend on the SU as an important source of energy (oil, gas, electricity, uranium). The SU makes very clear–especially just recently by its vicious opposition to England’s joining the EEC–that they want to make Western Europe dependent on them and drive U.S. imperialism out.

In opposition to U.S. imperialism (later both SPs), a number of European countries formed the European Economic Community (EEC) or Common Market, which was summed up recently in a Hsinhua news release as follows: the EEC was “formed by countries with a combined total of nearly 256 million people and with economic capabilities close to those of the United States and exceeding those of the Soviet Union. Enlarged in 1973 from the original six to nine member states, the Community has, through repeated negotiations, worked out a series of measures to resist the two superpowers’ economic domination and penetration and to strengthen political cooperation within itself. It has set itself the goal of turning its economic integration into a ’European Union’ by the end of the 1970s so as to achieve greater political identity. Economically, it has unified tariffs for manufactured goods and adopted a common agricultural policy. It further plans to set up an economic and monetary union through gradual integration. In its external relations, it has been strengthening its ties with the Third World countries. Last February, for instance, it signed the Lome agreement with 46 developing countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.” (June 18, 1975)

Today, a number of European countries see in the EEC a tool for resisting the pressures of the two SPs. They wish to expand this and also become militarily independent from both SPs, which in fact they are not, because the NATO is still under control of U.S. imperialism, while the WP is firmly in the hands of Soviet social-imperialism.

Among the European monopoly capitalists there is only limited unity on how to achieve this independence and whether it is a good thing to strive for anyway.

There are basically two positions among them. One is to make a deal with one or the other SP, to sell out the national interests of their countries and in case of war join with one or the other SP. Germany is a case in point.

The case for independence for Europe from both SPs is probably best demonstrated by the policies of France. France advocates a Europe which is militarily, economically and politically independent and a closer alliance with the Third World. In this it is wholeheartedly supported by the People’s Republic of China, which recently sent Teng Hsiao-ping on a state visit to France.

Thus on the one hand the European imperialists seek to get their independence from both SPs–and this is clearly in the interests of the working class of these countries. At the same time, they actively exploit and oppress their own people and the Third World (although to a much lesser degree than the SPs).

The EEC is a good example of this contradictory situation.

While the EEC’s main aspect at this time is progressive, it nevertheless by no means eliminates the internal class contradiction, but in fact it means increased exploitation of the European proletariat and peasantry due to increased concentration of political and economic power in fewer and fewer hands. While the working class of Europe supports the drive for independence, it opposes and resists the increasing exploitation. Many struggles in the past testify to this fact.

Especially in the last couple of years, the working class of Europe, as well as other segments of the people (students, peasants) have been engaged in great class battles. The general crisis of imperialism–inflation, unemployment, etc.–sparks these battles against the rule of monopoly capital. One reflection of this is the growth of a revolutionary communist movement in all Western European countries, which is becoming increasingly connected with the working class movement. This loosens the grip of the social democrats and revisionists which still exert a large influence in the working class movement.

More and more revolutionary communist parties and organizations are adopting the line of building a united front against both SPs in Europe. There is a consensus that the SU at this time poses the greatest threat to peace.

Eastern Europe

The situation in Eastern Europe is in some respects similar, although in an overall sense it is certainly the fact that the SU still has a much better grip on its colonies than the U.S. has on the West European countries.

Countries like Albania, Rumania and Yugoslavia are standing in the forefront of the struggle against SP hegemonism, a fact which is aptly illustrated by the fact that these countries have it written into their constitution that it is prohibited to surrender to any foreign invader. In contrast to this, East Germany has just altered its constitution to proclaim that there is no longer one German nation and that the SU is their friend forever.

While the SU at this point has a tighter control over things in their sphere of influence, events like Czechoslovakia and the workers’ uprising in Poland point to the same underlying contradictions as those operating in Western Europe. As the SU spreads its fascist dictatorship it is just finding out about the law that wherever there is oppression there is resistance. The empire of the new Tsars is going to be just as short-lived as Hitler’s 1000-year Reich.

Third World

As signified by the great victories in Indochina, by the armed struggles in Africa, Asia and Latin America, by the oil boycott of the Arab countries, and last but not least by the struggle to unify the Third World politically in the UN and elsewhere, it is absolutely correct’ to state, as the CPC does, that the Third World is the “main force combatting colonialism, imperialism, and particularly the superpowers.” (Teng Hsiao-ping, UN speech, April 10, 1974) The Third World countries are the weakest link of the imperialist chain and the “national democratic revolutions in these areas is an important component of the contemporary world revolution.” “Proposal Concerning the General Line,” p. 13) This is all the more true today when the conditions for revolution are so much better than 15 years ago.

What is the material base for this? The system of imperialism is characterized among other things by “the export of capital to the sources of raw material (generally the Third World) which is one of the foundations of imperialism.” (Foundations, p. 26) So the combination of several sharp contradictions caused by imperialism in these countries makes them “the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centers of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism.” (“Proposal Concerning the General Line,” p. 12) The statement concludes: “In essence, therefore, the whole cause of the international proletarian revolution hinges on the outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the people of these areas, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.” (ibid., p. 13)

The Second World (with Europe which we analyzed as its main representative) and the Third World have common ground to fight the SPs as well as contradictions between them. What should be the strategy of the world proletariat towards them?

II. The WWUF and the Strategy for Proletarian World Revolution

As it is impossible today in the Third World countries to overthrow the survivals of feudalism, establish national independence and make revolution without fighting imperialism and especially both SPs, so it is impossible today in the Second World (esp. Europe) to fight for socialist revolution without fighting for independence from both SPs.

In this situation there exists a real basis for a united front against the SPs between the people of the Third and Second World, because “in opposing hegemonism of the superpowers, the countries and people in the two intermediate zones (or two worlds) share common interests.” (PR No. 45, 1972)

How does this united front affect the policies of the proletariat around the world? Is it not just a particular foreign policy which is advanced by China, as some people claim?

By no means! This WWUF is in the interest of the proletariat and the vast majority of people around the globe. It is not just a struggle against the SPs but in essence a struggle for advancing proletarian revolution. In this united front the proletariat around the world (including the U.S.) and the socialist countries must be the leading force, while at this point the Third World countries are the main force, and the Second World in its struggle against hegemonism of the superpowers and for national independence (and in this only), is also a component of the united front–an auxiliary force. All these components of the WWUF have a material interest in bringing down their main enemy, both SPs. In all countries the proletariat must take the lead in building this united front which consists of all forces which oppose the two SPs and ail their lackeys.

Today, we are still in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, and the contradictions caused by the imperialist system are sharper than ever. We have to mobilize all forces which can be united to defeat both SPs. Only in doing this will we make a great step forward to proletarian revolution by winning leadership of the masses of people.

While many people agree that it is correct for the Third World»to have a united front against the SPs, many comrades fail to see that this is also necessary in a case like Europe. What does the WWUF mean for Western Europe today?

The urgent issue of WW3 is confronting the people of Europe in particular, because that is where the war is going to be carried out. What are the legitimate interests of the people of Europe? A war between the SP blocks would be one which serves imperialist interests and in which the working class has no interest whatsoever. What is the strategy for opposing such a war, for trying to prevent it and once it has broken out, for stopping it?

To prevent war in general it is of course necessary to abolish imperialism altogether and build socialism. The correct way for the proletariat of Europe to do this today is to struggle for an independent Europe and for socialism and to unite all forces which can be united in this. The revolutionary CPs of these countries have to struggle for independence and socialism and build a united front under proletarian leadership, based on the masses of people and not based on their monopoly bourgeoisies. The proletariat is the only force which can carry out these tasks.

As Stalin pointed out: “Formerly, the bourgeoisie was considered the leader of the nation, which defended the rights and independence of the nation and placed them ’above everything.’ Now there is not a trace of the ’national principle’ left. Now the bourgeoisie sells the rights and independence of the nation for dollars [or rubles! our addition]. The banner of national independence and national sovereignty has been thrown overboard. Unquestionably, you, the representatives of the Communist and democratic parties, will have to pick up this banner and carry it forward, if you want to be patriots of your country, if you want to be the leading force in your nation. There is no one else who could pick it up.” (19th Congress of the CPSU/B)

This united front includes all forces which sincerely oppose the SPs; it fights against all reactionaries, revisionists and other lackeys who are mouthpieces of the SPs. It may include bourgeois or even certain monopoly bourgeois forces. However, as history shows, these prospects are very limited, since the monopolies prefer to sell out the national interests of their countries, make a deal with the occupiers or simply flee the country and leave it to the stronger imperialist wolves. This has been proven by WW2 and is demonstrated by secret military plans which were recently revealed by U.S. imperialism for the case of an attack on Germany.

The proletariat of the European countries must forge a close alliance with the workers of the world, the socialist countries, and the Third World countries. They must struggle so that even under the present governments the greatest possible unity between the Second and Third World can be built. In this it is necessary to oppose all attempts on the part of the Second World countries to oppress and exploit any of the Third World countries, without these efforts this unity will be built on sand and cannot be successful.

However, it is also necessary to keep in mind the aims of the WWUF and direct the main fire at the superpowers. The “Proposal Concerning the General Line” points out that “in the capitalist-countries which U.S. imperialism controls or is trying to control, the working class and the people should direct their attacks mainly against U.S. imperialism, but also against their own monopoly capitalists and other reactionary forces who are betraying the national interests.” Of course, today it must say “against both SPs.”

In this united front it is of fundamental importance for the working class and its party to keep its political, organizational, and ideological independence, uphold ML, lead the masses in their day to day struggles, educate them about the necessity of overthrowing the whole imperialist system, expand its influence and fight the various bourgeois parties and ideologies, prepare for all forms of struggle and be ready to seize power once the time has come. If this is not done and the leadership of the united front is left to the monopolies, the CPs will sell out the working class and the masses of people.

The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of France, as reported in PR, calls on the French people “to sharpen their vigilance against the danger brought on by the two superpowers, particularly by Soviet social-imperialism, to peace in Europe and national independence of European countries. At the same time, in continuing the class struggle for immediate demands as preparation for the proletarian revolution, it is indispensable to reinforce the unity of the European peoples in all spheres.” “’The unity of the peoples under the leadership of their proletarian revolutionary parties is welded by their fidelity to the principles of Marxism-Leninism’” the communique of the MLCPF concludes. (PR No. 2,1975)

The struggle for independence and socialism in Europe is not a two-stage struggle, first for independence and then for socialism. This struggle is to win the millions of people to defeat their enemies one by one and to continue in this until socialist revolution–which in Europe at this time can only be achieved through building the united front against both SPs.

If the working class in Europe does not engage in this united front, it is not possible to win the masses of people to make revolution. We must keep in mind that the purpose of utilizing contradictions among the enemies is to make it easier to “attain the goal of the people’s revolutionary struggles and not to liquidate these struggles.” (“Proposal Concerning the General Line”)

On the question of the EEC, the proletariat must support the progressive aspect which is dominant at this time, the aspect of making their countries independent of the SPs. They must oppose any attempts at further exploitation and oppression which result from the increase of power “their” ruling classes get through the EEC, also any attempts on the part of “their” bourgeoisies to compromise with either of the SPs.

As to the question of military strategy, the general line is to arm the people to resist any attack by the SPs. Although given the present system, this possibility is limited, everything possible must be done to arm the people. However, it is correct to support an increase in independent defense efforts which are directed against an attack from the SPs. Of course, since we are dealing with the capitalist ruling class, this support can only be conditional and limited. Any efforts (and judging from the past there are going to be plenty) on the part of the ruling class to increase police and armed forces and actually employ them to put down the class struggle (or the Third World) must be strongly opposed. Any attempts on the part of the bourgeoisie to unite with one or the other SP and move towards WW3 must be constantly exposed and fought against.

Can the European proletariat rely on “their” bourgeoisie to protect them and lead them in the struggle militarily or otherwise? Of course not, they cannot lead this struggle, but some may under certain conditions participate under the leadership of the proletariat.

This is why the task of the communists is to’ prepare the people today militarily as well and never to place their hopes on the bourgeoisie.

However, to maintain that “their” bourgeoisie should dissolve the national army or decrease their defense efforts at this point would be to act as a fifth column, like the revisionist parties in Western Europe. To demand this today would only mean inviting the SPs to stay forever in their countries and to attack them whenever they please. Isn’t such a demand, a refusal to support an independent defense effort, not taking the imperialist stand of the SPs, which constantly tell everybody else they should disarm while they themselves are in the midst of a frantic arms race? What we have to demand at this time is the disarmament of both SPs.

Lenin hit the point when he said: “There are compromises and compromises. One must be able to analyse the situation and the concrete conditions of each compromise, or of each variety of compromise. One must learn to distinguish between a man who gives bandits money and firearms in order to lessen the damage they can do and facilitate their capture and execution, and a man who gives bandits money and firearms in order to share in the loot.” (Left-Wing Communism)

What about NATO? At this point the U.S. is the overlord in NATO and wants to run it as it pleases. It trys to use NATO as a tool in its struggle for hegemony against the other SP and the Third World. However, increasingly the European people and countries are resisting this. As things stand today, in case of an attack by the SU, NATO is the only defense organization Western Europe has–and a very shakey one at that. What role NATO will play in the future depends whether Europe kicks the U.S. out of it and takes charge, or builds up its defense organization independent of NATO. The second solution seems the more likely one.

Whatever happens, the European proletariat can never rely on NATO, whoever runs it. The working class must build its own unity and its own army. However, as long as Western Europe lacks an effective defense organization, to demand to dissolve only NATO would be to invite the SU to take over and make the situation even worse than it is now. Therefore the general demand must be for the abolition of both the NATO and the WP. To demand abolishing only one would be to play the game of one or the other SP.

World War 3

While it is important to struggle to prevent WW 3 by making revolution, it is also important to be prepared in case the war breaks out first. What would be the attitude of the European proletariat towards WW 3? “First, we are opposed to it, and second, we are not afraid of it,” as was recently pointed out in one European ML paper. Would this war be an unjust or just war?

A war between the two imperialist blocks (NATO vs. WP) must be opposed no matter who starts it because it serves imperialism. As Lenin points out: “The Socialist, the revolutionary proletarian, the internationalist, argues differently (than Kautsky who called on the working class to support their imperialist ruling class in WW1.” Lenin says: “The character of the war (whether reactionary or revolutionary) is not determined by who attacked or whose territory the ’enemy’ has occupied; it is determined by the class that is waging this war, and the politics of which this war is a continuation. If the war is a reactionary, imperialist war, that is, if it is being waged by two world coalitions of the imperialist, violent, predatory, reactionary bourgeoisie, then every bourgeoisie (even of the smallest country) becomes a participant in the plunder, and my duty as a representative of the revolutionary proletariat is to prepare for the world proletarian revolution as the only escape from the horrors of a world war. I must argue, not from the point of view of ’my’ country (for this is the argument of a poor, stupid, nationalist Philistine who does not realize he is only a plaything in the hands of the imperialist bourgeoisie), but from the point of view of my share in the preparation, in the propaganda, and in the acceleration of the world proletarian revolution.” (Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky)

A new imperialist war would be unjust; all resistance to it would be just. This would apply especially after the outbreak of WW 3, when the people of Europe would be engaging in a war of national liberation against both SPs. This war waged in the interests of the people of Europe and the people of the world would be a just war which must be supported. The task of the proletariat is to turn this war of liberation, should it take place, at the appropriate moment into a war of liberation from their own bourgeoisie and make socialist revolution.

In either case, whether revolution prevents war or war brings about revolution, the correct strategy in an overall sense is the united front. Although it is a very complicated situation and the alliance under certain circumstances with capitalists may sound strange to some people, as the CPC points out, we are living in an era when “we must be prepared to engage in great struggles which will have many features that are different from those of the past.” (PR No. 21, 1972) Or to quote Lenin: “To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complicated than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to refuse beforehand to manoeuvre, to utilize the conflict of interests (even though temporary) among one’s enemies, to reject agreements and compromises with possible (even though temporary, unstable, vacillating and conditional) allies–is this not ridiculous in the extreme?” (Foundations, pp. 97-98)

Learn the Lessons of WW 2

To learn from the past is a guide to the future. What is there to learn from WW 2? The DP sums it up this way: the competition between the imperialists which gave rise to WW 1 also gave rise to WW 2, but “with the German invasion of the USSR in 1941, WW 2 changed. It was no longer just a battle for the spoils among the imperialists. It became a battle for the defense of the future...”

Stalin, who was a close participant of the situation then, summed it up quite differently: “The Second World War differed substantially in character from the first. It must be born in mind that before attacking the Allied countries the major fascist states–Germany, Japan and Italy–destroyed the last remnants of bourgeois-democratic liberties at home and established there a cruel terroristic regime, trampled upon the principle of the sovereignty and free development of small countries, proclaimed as their own the policy of seizing foreign territory, and shouted from the housetops that they were aiming at a world domination and the spreading of the fascist regime all over the world, and by seizing Czechoslovakia and the central regions of China, the Axis Powers showed that they were ready to carry out their threat to enslave all the freedom-loving peoples. In view of this, the Second World War against the Axis Powers, unlike the First World War, assumed from the very outset [our emphasis] the character of an antifascist war, a war of liberation, one of the tasks of which was to restore democratic liberties. The entry of the Soviet Union into the war against the Axis Powers could only augment–and really did augment–the anti-fascist and liberating character of the Second World War.” (Stalin, speech Feb. 9, 1946, in meeting of voters)

The CPC, which participated in the war fighting the Japanese, also sums things up differently than the DP: “The anti-fascist war was a gigantic struggle between the world anti-fascist forces and German-Italian-Japanese fascism, a just war [our emphasis] on a scale unprecedented in the history of mankind.” (PR No. 20, 1975) In an earlier statement, the CPC summed up WW 2 as follows: “The history of the Anti-Fascist War teaches us that the imperialist countries do not form a monolithic block. Owing to the uneven development of capitalism, the German, Italian and Japanese fascists struck first at the spheres of influence of Britain, France, and the U.S. Although in the early stages of the war the British, French and U.S. imperialists first followed the appeasers’ policy of conniving at aggression, and then for a time after the outbreak of the Soviet-German war followed the policy of ’sitting on the top of the mountain to watch the tigers fight,’ there were irreconcilable contradictions between them and the German, Italian and Japanese fascists. They finally joined the anti-fascist ranks for their own interests. Obviously, it would have been impossible to win the war without the unity of all the forces that could be united against fascism and without a broad, world-wide united anti-fascist front.” (“The Historical Experience of the War against Fascism”)

These statements reveal several important differences with the position of the DP:
1) From the very outset, the war against the Axis was a war of national liberation. The proletariat supported the attacked countries and encouraged them to resist. This also found expression in the foreign policy of Stalin. The proletariat did not follow the appeasement policies of their ruling classes. As the CPC states, “The people of the world pursued another policy, that of dealing resolute counter-blows to fascist aggression.” (“Historical Experience...”)
2) The “imperialist camp” did not form a monolithic block. This enabled the proletariat to take advantage of their “irreconcilable contradiction.”
3) Without doing this it would have been impossible to form a united front and defeat the Axis powers and to establish socialism and people’s democracy in many countries after the war.
4) Stalin and the CPC make a clear distinction between the interests of the people and those of the imperialists. The SU united with the just aspirations of the people and not with the unjust aspirations of the imperialists, especially U.S. imperialism, which wanted to become Number One after the war.

To hold the position that because the imperialists had their own selfish reasons for entering the united front the united front should not have been built is a counter-revolutionary Trotskyite position, while as the DP correctly points out Browder, under the guise of building the united front, liquidated class struggle, which of course also amounts to selling out revolution. From this we can draw some conclusions for today:
1) The proletariat has to take a stand of opposing the policy of hegemony and war of the two SPs, and that can only mean support of the just struggles of the Second and Third World countries and peoples. This is not just a matter of Chinese foreign policy but a policy which is correct for all communist parties (although there are some differences in the form in which this struggle is being carried out).
2) The imperialists do not form a monolithic block due to uneven development of capitalism, which lays the basis for building unity between the Second and Third Worlds. Contention between the imperialists, not collusion, is primary and absolute.
3) Without a WWUF against the two SPs, led by the proletariat and the socialist countries, it is impossible to defeat the two SPs and prevent war by making revolution or make revolution in the course of or after the war.
4) We cannot wait until one or the other SP attacks a socialist country in order to take stand, although should this happen it would change the situation drastically, as it did when Germany attacked the SU.

Other lessons which we have to learn are that we have to build the WWUF against the two SPs in order to be able to defeat them once and for all and march on to socialist revolution, which is bound to be the case in many countries if we have a correct political line. As everyone knows, this was not carried through in some countries in WW 2. We ought to analyze these cases and sum up the bad as well as the good examples to learn from them. As Chairman Mao pointed out in his May 20th statement: “The danger of a new world war still exists, and the people of all countries must get prepared. But revolution is still the main trend in the world today.” Let’s get prepared for both possibilities.

III. The WWUF and the Role of the U.S. Proletariat

We have to implement actively the general line of building the WWUF and integrate it with our central task of building the revolutionary workers movement. We must prepare people in this country for the possibility of a new World War and actively oppose any aggression by either SP.

We must actively support the Third World in its national liberation struggles and oppose reactionaries from all worlds who stand in the way, while keeping the WWUF in mind. So, for instance, we have to oppose the Shah when he butchers his own people and when he fights the revolutionaries in Oman and is the henchman of U.S. imperialism. We have to support him when he is actually helping to build the WWUF and struggles against the two SPs, even though it be in a very limited way. We have to oppose India in her expansionist policy where her leaders are doing the dirty work for Soviet social-imperialism. We must support the European people and countries which under the leadership of their revolutionary CPs are struggling for independence and socialism and building a united front against both SPs. We must oppose the European imperialists when they try to make deals with the SPs, when they try to attack the Third World countries or if they attack their own people. We must follow the same policy towards the other Second World countries in their attempts to free themselves from SP hegemony (Canada, for instance, or Japan, which throws the SU revisionists into a fit by wanting to sign a treaty with China and in it oppose any attempts at gaining hegemony in SE Asia). We must support the unity between the Second and Third Worlds which is being realized in some instances.

We must expose the particular danger the SU poses at this time toward peace in Europe and never cease struggling against our own SP.

The fact that we single out one SP in one area or particular situation does not mean to give up the struggle against both SPs. We must always, as Mao says in “On Contradiction,” study the particularity of contradiction and understand each aspect of the contradiction. The living soul of Marxism, as Lenin said, is the concrete analysis of concrete conditions.

This means that while on a global scale both SPs are the main enemy of the people of the world, in a particular country one or the other SP may be the primary enemy while the other is secondary. Vietnam is a case in point, as well as Portugal, which also shows that which SP is primary is subject to change.

The demands for withdrawal of U.S. forces must be raised together with the demand for withdrawal of troops of the SU. (This is true in a general sense–it is our task to determine the particularity of a given situation and adjust our demands to it.) This is especially true in Europe at this time, where we must demand withdrawal of both SPs and not just “ours.”

This also means full support for the struggle of people who demand withdrawal of troops from their soil. We should not take the position that U.S. troops should stay anywhere in the world to oppose the expansionism of the SU. No, we must not unite with our own bourgeoisie, but we must also keep the whole world situation in mind as it exists today. The people of the world do not need the “protection” of the SPs, all they do is bring war in the name of peace. The people can take care of their own affairs, and they will get rid of the SPs.

In short, we must actively take up the task of building the WWUF among the American people, especially the American working class. To wait and sit back, to leave the building of the WWUF to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, is to abandon the workers of our own country and to capitulate to the SPs.

In actively engaging in this united front we must never lose sight of our ultimate aim or cease preparing the people for this. We must never forget that in each country and in our own as well the fundamental contradiction is still operating and make the mistake of Browderism.

We must never have illusions about the class nature of the ruling classes in the capitalist and Third World countries and keep on fighting until the last imperialist and revisionist is wiped from the face of the earth. However, the way we do this has to be scientifically determined along the lines Mao Tsetung has pointed out: “The principle of the reactionary forces in dealing with the democratic forces of the people is definitely to destroy all they can and to prepare to destroy later whatever they cannot destroy now. Face to face with this situation, the democratic forces of the people should likewise apply the same principle to the reactionary forces.” (Vol. IV, pp. 87-88)

Countries want independence, nations want liberation and people want revolution. These great struggles in today’s world, while different in form, in the final analysis all serve our aim of overthrowing the whole imperialist system and building socialism and communism. Not to recognize this or only to support one or the other struggle and not see them as an integrated whole is to give up revolution in this country. We either recognize this great historical trend of our time and take the lead, or we will tail behind events and go against the tide of history.

IV. The WWUF and the Draft Programme

Up to now it was necessary to outline the world situation and the tasks deriving from it. In the light of this, we should now examine the DP, particularly the section on the United Front. The DP correctly states that we must not “fall into the trap of ’uniting’ with one part of the main enemy against another.” It correctly points out that there is a danger of war stemming from the contention between the two imperialist SPs, and that the “working class of all countries faces the task of building the broadest united front” directed against the two SPs and for socialist revolution.

But let’s see if the DP lives up to its promises and applies this WWUF correctly to our situation.


First the DP examines the question of our allies. It lists the workers of all countries and those who have “already seized power.” But here is the first mistake, where the DP maintains that only the workers of the socialist countries are our allies, not the socialist countries as a whole, which are under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Or is anybody of the opinion that the 500 million peasants of China who are building socialism are not our friends? And all the other people who are building socialism in China and the other socialist countries, aren’t they friends of ours?

Third World

After the workers of the world and the socialist countries, the next allies mentioned are the “Third World.” The DP states that the “hundreds of millions of peasants, who make up the majority of the population...are the bulwark of the armed struggle [our emphasis] against the imperialists and their feudal and bourgeois junior partners.”

In a number of ways the DP reveals a failure to grasp the essence of the role of the Third World:
1) It doesn’t mention that these struggles are an “important component part of proletariat revolution,” on a world scale and also in the U.S. It was this fact which led to the slogan, created by Lenin (but not raised in the DP at all): WORKERS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES OF THE WORLD UNITE!
2) By mentioning only the “armed struggles” of those countries it shows a lack of understanding of the material basis of unity between workers and oppressed peoples of the world. Struggles like the Arab oil boycott, for the 200-mile zone, the political struggle in the UN, etc., also help to isolate and undermine imperialism, especially the two SPs, a fact which the DP fails to point out here.
3) In failing to point out the material base of unity between the Third World and the U.S. proletariat, which has to be built in order to win national liberation there and proletarian revolution here (that is, we have the same enemy), the DP is not able to refute the position of certain groups (Prairie Fire, OL, African Liberation Support Committee, etc.) which only pay lip service to support for Third World countries because they deny the essential connection and do not organize the revolutionary workers movement in this country. If the WWUF is not based on the class struggle in one’s own country it is phoney, just as it is a fraud to confine oneself only to the class struggle on a national scale.
4) The DP fails to point out that the developing countries “constitute a revolutionary motive force propelling the wheel of world history and are the main force [our emphasis] combatting colonialism, imperialism, and particularly the superpowers.” (Teng Hsiao-ping, UN speech) In pointing this out, of course, one has to see that the “wheel of history” turns towards socialism and communism and nowhere else, and that while the Third World is the main force, the workers of the world and the socialist countries are the leading force.

Second World

How does the DP see the Second World and its position between the First and Third World? First off, it doesn’t analyze the relationship between the Second and Third World at all and therefore entirely misses one important part of building the WWUF.

For the struggles of the lesser capitalist and imperialist states against the two SPs it states support. But again, let us see what reasons are given for this. The DP states that “their [the developed countries’] drive for profit brings them into conflict with the two SPs, and in this conflict the proletariat supports them...” This statement is false and turns the real world upside down. Why?

1) Today it is the drive of both SPs for superprofits, their policy of subjugation, plunder and aggression, even against their own “allies,” and the struggle against this which is the cause of the “conflict.” Do the lesser capitalists of the Second World have profit in mind? Of course, how could it be otherwise! They will never change their color! But does the proletariat support the Second World in its drive for more profit and in fact take the stand of the lesser imperialist countries in trying to grab a bigger piece of the profit pie? Hardly As Chou En-lai pointed out in laying out the line of the CPC at the 10th Party Congress, “On the international front, our party must uphold proletarian internationalism, uphold our party’s consistent policies, strengthen our unity with the proletariat and the oppressed people and nations of the whole world and with all countries [our emphasis] subjected to imperialist aggression, subversion, interference, control or bullying and form the broadest united front against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, and in particular against the hegemonism of the two superpowers–the U.S. and the USSR.” (p.29)

Isn’t the formulation in the DP making a mockery out of the WWUF by telling our workers to support the other ruling classes in their drive for more profits? The DP fails to distinguish between essence and form, it does not bother to go beyond the appearance of things. What is the essence of the WWUF against both SPs? It is the struggle for independence, national liberation and socialist revolution. These struggles are different in form and in their immediate aims and are made up of different class forces, but their main aspect–despite all the contradictions within this united front–is that they weaken the whole world wide imperialist system and advance proletarian revolution on a world wide scale. And that is why–and for no other reason–the proletariat in the U.S. supports these struggles. So the proletariat does not support the Second World countries or for that matter the Third World countries in their struggle for a “bigger chunk of the exploitation” (DP, p. 21). No, as a matter of fact, it struggles against it on a daily basis in its class struggle with its own bosses.

2)To formulate the nature of the struggle going on in the Second and Third World today purely on the basis of their ruling classes’ drive to get a bigger chunk of the pie is indeed a slander against the people of these countries, which indeed are the main force in carrying out this struggle. Or does anybody believe that a people’s war in Africa is not carried out by the people of these countries and that is in their very interest? Does anybody believe that the struggle for an independent Europe must not be led and carried out by the people of these countries? To deny all this, as the formulation in the DP implies, is denying that the people make history, that the people at all times are the heroes and not some leaders.

In sum, the DP as in the case of the Third World, does not correctly see the material forces operating in the Second World either.


The DP talks about the danger of WW3 and points to the two possibilities: that revolution will prevent war or war will give rise to revolution. What does the DP suggest we should do about preventing war or making revolution first? How should we get prepared in a concrete way in the immediate period, other than struggling directly for socialist revolution in the U.S.? As the DP points out, there are two possibilities, and we must prepare the American people for both and not just for the case of a war in the course of which the bourgeoisie “will expose its barbarous nature.”

What the DP fails to do here is to point out that the key to making revolution (before, during, or after the war) is to build the WWUF, whose purpose is not just to create more turmoil, etc. (p. 22), but in fact to bring about the conditions for proletarian revolution. It also fails to analyze the class forces involved in a WW3 between the two SPs and in fact does not tell the U.S. working class that under no circumstances must they join the U.S. ruling class in a WW3 to maintain their world empire. Not only does the DP fail to point this out, it also fails to consider the possibility of the U.S. working class supporting a just war of liberation, say in the case of the outbreak of WW3 in Europe. Here again, we find that the DP doesn’t base itself on the material conditions, which is not only expressed in what it doesn’t say, but in what it does say as well.

In the section “Fight Against Imperialist War...”, the demand for U.S. imperialism to withdraw all forces from foreign soil, etc. is onesided. These demands are still based on the period when U.S. imperialism was the number one enemy of the people of the world. Today we have to demand that both SPs withdraw all their troops from foreign soil, etc. This is particularly evident in Europe where we must demand the abolition of both NATO and the WP. Not to do so is objectively to side with one or the other SP. The one-sidedness of the demands in this section (especially in light of the particular danger at this point that the SU may launch a war against Western Europe and the Balkan countries) is a clear indication of very incomplete understanding of the meaning of the WWUF against the two SPs. It is not just the task of the rest of the world to struggle against Soviet social-imperialism! It is ours as well. Although it is of course correct to point out “that the main contribution of the U.S. proletariat to the world wide revolution is to overthrow imperialism in the U.S.,” it must be made clear that we can only accomplish this through a correct implementation of the WWUF in our country as well.

The main weakness of the way the DP deals with the international situation can be summed up as follows:
1) The DP in general does not proceed “from the actual world situation taken as a whole and from a class analysis of the fundamental contradictions in the contemporary world.” (Prop. Gen. Line, p. 4)
2) The DP does not correctly analyze the role of the Second and Third World, their common basis for struggle, and how this is connected to the U.S. revolution.
3) The DP does not understand the essence and components of the WWUF and therefore
4) it presents a tendency to narrow the scope of the WWUF and tends to suggest that the WWUF is one thing, our struggle another. This among other things leads to an
5) underestimation of the danger and significance of Soviet social-imperialism.

Why does the DP make these mistakes? For this we have to quote a related document which throws some light on the problem. Here it is explained that in the DP “the international situation, for example, is not dealt with by dividing the world into ’three worlds.’ This ’three worlds’ analysis is correct as a general programmatic statement of the world-wide struggle against the two superpowers. But especially for the working class of the U.S. at this time–a working class without a vanguard for many years, and a working class of one of the two superpowers–such a presentation of ’three worlds’ does not adequately explain the character and aims of the international struggle, nor sufficiently emphasize the revolutionary role and duties of the proletariat.

This statement reveals several erroneous views which are clearly responsible for the mistakes in the DP:

1) While the statement concedes that the “three worlds” analysis is correct as a general programmatic statement, but says it is no good for the U.S. working class because a) our workers can’t understand such an analysis (this presupposes that they understand the hodge-podge in the DP), and b) it is not revolutionary enough.

Here, comrades, the DP blames our own backwardness on the workers. What kind of logic is this? The “three worlds” analysis is “correct” but “not for us.” Comrades, it does not matter what we think the work looks tike, the only thing that matters is what the world does look like and here all argue that it is divided into Three Worlds. So the question really is, do we agree with this concept or not? This is at the heart of the problem.

In either case we have the duty to explain our position to the U.S. working class. To cover up our lack of understanding by pointing to the backwardness of the U.S. working class is a very cheap shot. Comrades, we have to face it, the world is actually divided into Three Worlds and we live in the first world (which of course does not mean that we have anything in common with the imperialist ruling class). Not to try to unite the Second and Third World into the WWUF and to support all genuine attempts to do so means in real life leaving those countries and people in them to the mercy of SPs, to negate the content of the united front and in the final analysis to deny revolution in our own country as well, because we should not believe we are able to defeat the U.S. at home without the support of the people of the world and our allies, which are numerous around the globe.

Finally, let’s keep in mind that both SPs are paper tigers and that we can bring them down by understanding that
–correctness or incorrectness of our political and ideological line decides everything;
–the people are the motive force of history;
–strategically we despise the enemy and tactically we take him seriously.


* * *


The question of war is one of the sharpest the new Revolutionary Communist Party must deal with, and the DP and the latest document do an excellent job in setting forward the basic orientation of the party concerning war and how the proletariat takes up this struggle in a way to abolish war forever–by ending the source of war today–wage slavery and building socialism in its place.

The main strength of the DP is to put these questions squarely from the point of view of the proletariat and not some classless view of “peace loving forces,” or worse, from the point of view of the bourgeoisie as those who make their main point supporting the Shah of Iran or NATO to oppose social-imperialism. This correct stand is generally shown by the class analysis on pp. 21-22 where the main allies of the U.S. working class in the United Front against the two superpowers is the proletariat of the world, particularly in the socialist countries; and secondary allies are the peasants all over the world.

The section also correctly deals with the bourgeoisie of countries that have contradictions with the superpowers. This way of laying it out–from the point of view of classes and class alliances–is definitely correct and as it points out in an earlier report, better at the present time than three worlds, etc. The problem with this point is that when it comes to correctly applying it to the question of war, serious shortcomings come out. This we shall see later.

The second main strength of the DP is that the contradiction is presented as between war and revolution and not between war and peace. Under the present conditions this is the only correct view–it shows that war springs from the very nature of capitalism, that the danger of world war is imminent and that the main force in opposing war is the revolutionary struggles of the masses here and around the world. Again, even though this is a great strength, there is a tendency in its concretes to downplay the actual struggle against war, to not see the struggle against war as one of the very main components of the revolutionary struggle at this time.

One Minor and Two Major Points

Starting from a basically correct orientation and stand, though, there are several areas where the DP could be improved. I would like to go into one minor and two major points. First, what causes wars and the law of uneven development; second, the basic attitude towards war in different times and in particular the question of defending socialist countries; and third, the question of an “anti-war movement.”

First, concerning the cause of war and uneven development under imperialism. When the cause of war is explained in the DP the cause is contention between the two superpowers; i.e., competition to gain more markets, influence, etc. in some part of the world or even to keep the other superpowers out. This is very true but if it’s left at this level, wars break out when the competition gets too hot, or when some “spark” spreads into a battle, or when the domestic crisis of one superpower needs a war as a way out. The contention between imperialist powers explains the general inevitability of war but does not show why wars break out at particular times between particular nations–for this the law of uneven development is necessary.

Wars occur between imperialist powers to re-divide the world, since it has been completely divided since the 1870s. The division of the world into colonies, junior partners, spheres of influence, etc. is based on the total economic, political and military power of the imperialist countries at some time. Since uneven development, i.e., countries developing at different speeds, some raising, some declining, all at different rates, is the rule of imperialism then this world wide arrangement of forces that the division of the world is based on changes. Some countries gaining in strength, others losing. It then comes that the world must be re-divided to reflect the new balance of forces. The only way this redivision can occur is by war.

It is important to spell this out a little in the DP to explain why war will occur between the U.S. and Russia at this general time. If this is not done, then war might be seen as “policy” chose to expand influence or to “get out” of a crisis–and while both of these are partially true, if they are put forward alone, then the same mistake as occurred around the energy crisis–i.e., the imperialists “choose” to raise their prices or hold back oil–giving the imperialists too much freedom, will come up again.

To summarize–the power of the U.S. has gone tremendously down in the last 15 years while that of Russia has grown tremendously. Russia is a younger, relatively more dynamic capitalism, hungering for the colonies and spheres of influence it had been kept from by imperialist military might and by its socialist past, and now it’s on the make–something like Germany before WW1. (But certainly a much more moribund, “dynamic” capitalism than any on the make before–U.S., Germany. Russia is already a fascist, decaying country–probably the last on the make.) It is the law of uneven development that leads to the immediate danger of war between the U.S. and Russia. Contention and “solving” crisis could cause a war with anyone at any unknown time.

Secondly, what is the attitude of communists towards war at different periods and particularly during the period of the existence of one or several socialist countries while the imperialist powers seek to re-divide the world. As the DP correctly points out, there are just and unjust wars and the stand and history of the working class supports just wars and opposes unjust wars. The working class has no interests in pacifism and knows it has to fight for what it needs. The question is what determines whether or not a war is just. The DP says, “wars for independence, liberation , and socialist revolution are just, while imperialist wars for the purpose of plunder and oppression will always be resisted by the working class and oppressed peoples of the world.” (p. 43) This is all certainly true but it is not sufficient guidance for what will determine the attitude towards war at present. In particular it says nothing about defending socialist China. Before we get into this it might be helpful to review a little how the attitude towards war has developed through different periods.

From the time when Marx began his work until 1871, Marx and Engels usually supported one side or the other in the wars in Europe. The Marxist method has always been to examine each war in its historical context and see whether or not it helped or hindered the development of human society. As Lenin says, “There have been in the past numerous wars which despite all the horrors, atrocities, distress, and suffering that inevitably accompany all wars, were progressive, i.e., benefitted the development of mankind by helping to destroy most harmful or reactionary institutions (e.g. an autocracy or serfdom) and the most barbarous despotism in Europe (the Turkish and the Russian).”

Lenin points out that from the French Revolution until the time of the Paris Commune –i.e., from 1789-1871: “one type of war was of a bourgeois-progressive character, waged for national liberation. In other words, the overthrow of absolutism and feudalism, the undermining of these institutions, and the overthrow of alien oppression, formed the chief content and historical significance of such wars. These were progressive wars; during such war, all honest and revolutionary democratic as well as all socialists, always wished success to that country (i.e., that bourgeoisie) which had helped to overthrow or undermine the most baneful foundations of feudalism, absolutism and the oppression of nations.”

This even included, for example, support for Germany, during the brutal Franco-Prussian war of 1870–a war between two predominantly capitalist countries where Prussian (German) desire for French territory played no small part. This was because this war united Germany and smashed feudalism there. These wars were essentially part of the bourgeois revolutions and came to an end with the rise of imperialism and the end of the progressive era of the bourgeoisie.

The next period of wars, was imperialist wars fought to re-divide the world. Lenin struggled very hard against opportunism, particularly against defencism (defending one’s own country because it was more “democratic” or the “victim of aggression,” etc.) and laid out the basic line on imperialist war-that re-dividing the world for the bourgeoisie was in no way in the interest of the working class and that these wars should be opposed tooth and nail. Even more, the working class can build on the increasing revolutionary mood of the masses brought on by the horrors of such a war to call for the defeat (weakening) of its own ruling class and launch a civil war against it. This is the basic line of the DP on war between imperialist powers and is correct for that situation, but it is not the whole situation we confront.

Since 1917 the attitude of communists underwent another fundamental change–socialism existed in Russia and the international working class possessed a base from which to build a new world. The question of war entered a new period that we are still in (with heavy changes, i.e., the existence of an imperialist country that cloaks itself with socialism). Defending the Soviet Union became as much a foundation of proletarian internationalism as revolutionary defeatism (Lenin’s term for the above pre-WW1 line) and support for wars of independence and national liberation. This is the point that is not sufficiently emphasized in the DP.

At present the defense of socialist countries must be one of the basic departure points on the question of war, especially the defense of socialist China. China belongs to the international working class and represents one of its most hard won and valuable possessions, especially, because the lies, actions and hypocrisy of the social-imperialists are exposed daily by the theory and practice of China. Some might protest and say the DP covers this (p. 43). Recently there was an article in Revolution (several months after the DP was out) that supposedly laid out the attitude towards war at present. It did not even mention China! This is serious.

The point of this article is not to try to spell out all the issues involved around the question of China and war–that will be done especially as the situation develops and we can see how alliances, relative strengths, etc. become more clear, but some principles can be laid out. I believe the article in Revolution grossly exaggerates but generally reflects the shortcomings of the DP. Instead of treating the revolutionary struggle of the international working class against its own bourgeoisies (especially the working classes of the two superpowers) as the main struggle opposing war, which would be correct, the article says essentially that it is the only force. To correct this error the DP should stress in the United Front part more clearly how other classes and forces oppose war and can defend China. In the part on opposing war {he question of defending China should be spelled out in a separate paragraph – that this is a basic point of proletarian internationalism at this time and should be a basic point in determining our strategy against war.

The Revolution article, exaggerating the weaknesses of the DP, assumes an ostrich-like stand of putting its head in the sand to ignore a problem. The problem is this. There is tremendous danger of right errors on this question, as we have already seen from the OL’s garbage on the Shah of Iran. The main danger on this question is defencism–i.e., uniting with the bourgeoisie of our country to oppose the Soviet Union because it is attacking China, or worse, just to weaken Russia in a war even if it is not attacking China. Defencism at this time would be dead wrong and pure social chauvinism and social-imperialism just as it was when Lenin fought against it during WW 1. The main way it would come out now would be in a pro-NATO line or by saying it is wrong to demand just withdrawal of U.S. bases overseas.

This is not an idle question–it is a strong trend among some organizations and parties in Europe and will surely be one of the major questions to deal with in the ’70s all over the world. While it is quite possible that conditions could change that would call for defencism, as they did during WW2 after the invasion of the Soviet Union, these conditions do not now exist–and any moves by communists to unite with U.S. military forces would be opportunist to the core. (Even if it ever was correct to unite with the U.S., the basic line of the DP of relying on the masses would be even more essential.)

The other danger around this area is that the struggle for proletarian revolution will be forgotten and sold out under the cover of building a movement against war–this will be covered in the third and last part of this article.

Slogan Wrong?

Thirdly, how can a movement against war be built that shows the real cause of wars–capitalist exploitation and the real solution–socialist revolution. The DP sums it up this way: “Either the working class in the U.S. and the Soviet Union will prevent such a war by overthrowing these greatest oppressors, in conjunction with the world wide struggle against them, or they will launch a world war before they can be overthrown.” (p. 22) Or again: “If revolution does not prevent world war, world war will give rise to revolution.” (p. 43)

The second slogan is certainly correct, though it remains to point out exactly the relationship between the fight against war before and after its outbreak and the fight for revolution. The first slogan is at best misleading and at worst wrong. It is wrong to say revolution against both superpowers is necessary to prevent this war. As long as there are several imperialist countries the inevitability of war will continue, but individual wars can be prevented or at least delayed and fought on more favorable grounds. Revolution in one superpower would most likely prevent this immediate war–or so change its nature (it would become an attack on a socialist country) as to require an entirely different strategy. What is misleading is that it is not clear again how the fight against war is part of the revolutionary struggle. Here is how the DP lays out the relationship:

“To eliminate war, once and for all, it is necessary to eliminate its source, imperialism, through revolution and socialism. But, as a vital part of building that struggle, the working class and its party in the U.S. raises the following demands: Withdrawal...” etc.

The phrase “as a vital part” is not sufficiently clear. The struggle against war will be one of the key struggles leading to the socialist revolution; it will be one of the very main forces in bringing down the bourgeoisie. Further, the struggles of the working class against war along the lines of the demands listed (strengthening the part on defending socialist countries will be a key part in rallying other classes to see socialist revolution as the concrete solution to their problems. The masses of people, especially the working class, hate war. They suffer the miseries war causes, they do the fighting and dying. This provides the basis for the working class leading the struggles against war as a powerful thrust against monopoly capitalism–for only through destroying monopoly capital! can war be ended forever.

The anti-war feelings of the masses is also the social base for revisionist, “peace” moves. If the working class does not lead the fight against war – either the petty bourgeoisie, or more likely, the bourgeoisie, will–and use it as a prop to defend its rule. The movement against war will be a social movement, broadly including all classes – but based mainly in the working class. This has not been true in the recent past but must be and can be true of the future. It is important to describe this social movement against war as a key force and not just say “a vital part” and list some demands. This formulation could lead to denying the importance of the social movement against war and could lead to saying that it is only possible to mobilize the petty bourgeoisie against war.

Danger of War Very Real

It is true that petty bourgeois moralists and Utopian idealists will only oppose unjust war in general, and that if you actually tried to build an “anti-war” movement today it would attract only petty bourgeois forces. The working class moves around real principles, real issues, and real oppression and not moral principles– but everything we say points to the fact that the danger of war will be very real in a year or so and come down over real issues, whether it be a grossly increased military budget, a new draft, or an actual war, etc.

These are real issues and the working class must be in the forefront of the battle against them. There are again real dangers of right errors in building a movement against war. it will be difficult to build it without it having a petty bourgeois character, there may be a tendency to see peace as an end in itself–to see the contradiction between peace and war resolved independent of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism. These are the dangers, but the danger in the DP is to not talk about building a movement against war because of these dangers–this is definitely wrong.

As the superpowers drag us ever closer to war, as the DP says, struggle increases against them. But if the party does not build a strong movement against war based in the working class, not only will the superpowers have more freedom to carry on their aggression, but no revolution will occur. During a war opposition to it is one of the greatest revolutionary movements. Remember the Russian Revolution and its slogan of Peace, Land and Bread. One final point on this. As was said earlier in the World Wide United Front, there are some problems with how war is dealt with. Specifically, when the struggles of the third world are described, the struggle of the masses is described as “to win complete independence from imperialism and overthrow all exploiters.” (p. 21) Since this does not mention the struggle against war (although it would be considered as part of the struggle for complete independence), it could leave the impression that this fight was up to the bourgeoisies of these countries. This could be corrected very easily by adding the word “war” after “complete independence.” To summarize the points:
1) Bring in the uneven development more to explain the present situation. This could be done on p. 3 of the DP.
2) Go into the principles of proletarian internationalism, showing how in addition to what is said the existence of socialism and its defense is a basic departure point in our line on war. This should be done on p. 22.
3) Strengthen the description of “a vital part” to include the necessity of building a broad social movement against war based on the working class as a key force for revolution.

* * *


In the section, “World-Wide United Front” under THE UNITED FRONT in the DP, the strategy for world wide revolution is laid out as the United Front against the two superpowers from the point of view of the U.S. working class’ role in the struggle, and correctly so, as the DP is speaking to the U.S. working class, in order to clarify who are our friends and on what basis we unite with them against a common enemy. On p. 22 of the DP:

The main contribution of the U.S. proletariat to the world-wide revolution is to overthrow imperialism in the U.S.” But the U.S. ruling class is not the sole main enemy of the working class in this country. Under “World-Wide United Front” it is stated that “At the present time, these two top dogs [U.S. and USSR imperialists] of the imperialist system are the main enemies of the people of the world. The working class of all countries face the task of building the broadest united front, on a world scale, aimed at the ruling classes of these two superpowers, while at the same time uniting all who can be united within each country to continue the battle for socialist revolution. (emphasis mine)

This is in accord with the CPC analysis as stated in the April 9, 1974 speech of Teng Hsiao-ping, Chairman of the Delegation of People’s Republic of China, at the Special Session of the UN General Assembly. (Peking Review, supplement to No. 15, April 12, 1974). Here it is stated,

The two superpowers of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, are vainly seeking world hegemony. Each in its own way attempts to bring the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America under its control, and at the same time, to bully the developed countries that are not their match in strength... The two superpowers are the biggest international exploiters and oppressors of today. They are the source of a new world war.

The CPC in this speech says, “Judging from the changes in international relations, the world today actually consists of three parts, or three worlds, that are both interconnected and in contradiction to one another. The United States and the Soviet Union make up the First World. The developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other regions make up the Third World. The developed countries between the two make up the Second World.” The CPC, speaking to all countries of the world, and specifically to the international proletariat, describes the international situation in terms of the contention and alliances between countries, and between class forces within these countries. It accurately describes the international situation in terms of what the different countries of the world are contending over, i.e., oil, natural resources, colonial and imperialist domination, and the exploitation of their people versus the control of countries’ own resources and the liberation of the oppressed people of the world from class exploitation.

From Teng Hsiao-ping’s speech, “The numerous developing countries have long suffered from colonialist and imperialist oppression and exploitation. They have won political independence, yet all of them still face the historic task of clearing out the remnant forces of colonialism, developing the national economy and consolidating national independence...In the struggle for national liberation and independence, they have demonstrated immense power and continually won splendid victories. They constitute a revolutionary motive force propelling the wheel of world history and are the main force combatting colonialism, imperialism, and particularly the superpowers...

The hegemonism and power politics of the two superpowers have also aroused strong dissatisfaction among the developed countries of the Second World. The struggles of the countries against superpower control, interference, intimidation, exploitation and shifting of economic crises are growing day by day. Their struggles also have a significant impact on the development of the international situation.

The DP, in the sub-section “World-Wide United Front,” describes the friends of the U.S. working class: “Besides the workers in every country, the proletariat in the U.S. has as its allies in the international arena today the great struggles of nations throughout the ’underdeveloped world’ or ’Third World’ for liberation from colonialism and imperialism. The backbone of these struggles are the hundreds of millions of peasants, who make up the majority of the population in most of these countries and particularly under the leadership of the working class and its party, are the bulwark of the armed struggles against the imperialists and their feudal and bourgeois junior partners. With the worker-peasant alliance as the foundation, these national liberation struggles can also involve broad strata of the population, including intellectuals and students, professionals and shop keepers and even some smaller-scale merchants and factory owners who are more held down than built up by imperialist rule in these countries.” And a little later the DP says:

Not only in the Third World, but even in the capitalist and imperialist states outside the two superpowers [OF THE SECOND WORLD], governments are resisting to some degree the domination of the superpowers. The proletariat supports this resistance for the reason that it also weakens the main enemies U.S. AND SOVIET-SOCIALIST-IMPERIALISTS [WHO MAKE UP THE FIRST WORLD].

The capitalized words and phrases inside brackets are mine. They are suggested changes and additions. Although the DP doesn’t lay out the world situation and describe it in terms of contradictions between First, Second, and Third Worlds, this section of the DP does not negate the correct analysis of the world situation or the united front against the two superpowers of the CPC. Many people who read the DP will never have heard of this analysis before, so I think it is important to name the three worlds.

I know I heard of the Third World way before I understood the correct analysis of the world wide united front, which meant I didn’t understand either what the Third World was. This term is used incorrectly to describe oppressed nationalities within the U.S., for example. Also, there has been a tendency around for a long time, and still with us, to glorify and at the same time separate struggles of the Third World from our own, saying, in effect, well they’re the ones that are really doing the fighting and negating our contribution and international duty in the world wide united front against the two superpowers. So, naming the three worlds in this section would help to clarify things from the get-go.

* * *


The sub-section of the DP on the “World-Wide United Front” is in general correct and clearly stated, but could be improved by amplifying on two points: 1) the distinction between the domestic programs of the fraternal Communist and Workers parties, and the foreign policies of states where the working class is in power and 2) the obligation of the working class and its party to build the widest possible movements for friendship with those countries where the working class is in power.

The DP correctly defines the international united front not as a tactical alliance of states and national liberation movements, but as a strategic international alliance of class forces aimed at world wide proletarian revolution. The backbone of this united front aimed at the ruling classes of the two superpowers is the masses. The leading element is the working classes of all countries (especially those in power). The firmest allies are the masses of the Third World (especially the peasantry, but also the patriotic bourgeoisie to the extent to which they oppose the superpowers). Lesser allies are the ruling classes of the lesser imperialist powers; they are supported only in their actions against the superpowers and only for the purpose of weakening the imperialist system as a whole. They must eventually be overthrow by proletarian revolution.

Here the DP should explicitly point out that the overthrow of bourgeois, feudal or comprador regimes in no way undercuts the international united front. Rather it immensely strengthens the abilities of the peoples involved to resist superpower domination.

This section of the DP goes on to discuss the relationship between war and revolution. And it concludes with the key point that the international united front is not a substitute for proletarian revolution but a programme for advancing it on an international scale.

Both recent and past history of the working class movement shows that this point must be carefully explained to both the party and the masses if they are to retain the correct orientation in the rapidly changing arena of world events. In particular there has been a recurrent tendency to confuse the revolutionary programmes of the individual parties with the state policies of leading socialist states.

Two Deviations

There have been two classical deviations on this question. The Trotskyist deviation, which denies the law of uneven development and existence of any contradictions other than that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, insists that the state policy of socialist states should be the same as the supposed programme of the parties in the imperialist countries and should be oriented to the practical assistance of armed proletarian revolution, immediately, everywhere, and without “impure” allies. The opposite error, the Browderite deviation, calls for the* liquidation of the domestic revolutionary programme and the adoption in its place of the state foreign policy of the leading socialist states.

The past has shown that without a correct orientation toward the component parts of the international united front, the working class and its party can become confused and suffer real setbacks in the face of rapidly changing international events. The American party which oriented its domestic program in the late ’30s around the international struggle against fascism, was thrown into confusion when the Soviet Union signed the non-aggression treaty with Germany. The Chinese party survived quite well the Soviet Union signing a similar treaty with Japan at the same time that the CPC was leading the armed struggle against the Japanese invasion of China! Later the American party was seeking actively to repress all working class struggles and struggles of national minorities in the name of the war effort, while the Chinese party was forcefully pushing demands for the people’s livlihood in order to strengthen the ability of the masses to resist fascism!

Recently we have seen the attempt by some so-called communist groups to put forward the state foreign policies of the People’s Republic of China, particularly China’s attempts in the UN and international conferences to unite other states against the two superpowers, as the sole essence of the “International United Front.” (For background comrades and friends should re-read Teng Hsiao-ping’s speech to the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Raw Materials and Development, where the First, Second, Third World description was first put forward.)

“Upper and Lower Teeth”

The point is that the state foreign policies of the socialist countries and the revolutionary programmes of the fraternal Communist and Workers parties are both components of the international united front. They fit together like the upper and lower teeth; between them they crush the imperialist system. But they are not the same thing.

This distinction also raises the importance of building the widest possible movements of friendship for the socialist states. These movements hold up the shining example of socialism and the working class in power, and they defend the leading components of the international united front by restricting the bourgeoisie’s ability to mobilize the masses for war against these states.

But, further, these movements must be constantly explaining to all of the people the role these states play in the world. It is especially important to win people to the correctness of the foreign policies of these states at times when reaction attempts to portray these states as acting in opposition to the interests of the masses, or when they make tactical compromises to advance the overall programme. (Remember how PL and the SWP assailed the Vietnamese for “selling out” in Paris!)


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Article “Two” on War and the International United Front in Journal No. 3 is incorrect in the line that it takes to oppose the DP’s description of the World-wide United Front (pp. 21-22). It falls into the error of raising the contradiction between oppressed nations and the superpowers to obscure all the other contradictions in the world today. This view advocates that the proletariat give up its role as leader of the world wide United Front and tail behind the other social forces.

How does Article “Two” do this? First, it criticizes the DP for not recognizing the national liberation struggles as part of the proletarian-socialist world revolution, by failing to distinguish between the masses in the oppressed nations and the reactionary regimes which resist superpower domination. This is not true. Over five paragraphs on p. 21 are used to clearly lay out the contradiction in the struggles in the Third World.

Next the DP is criticized for an inadequate definition of proletarian internationalism because it doesn’t say the main context of proletarian internationalism in the U.S. is support for national liberation struggles. Again wrong. The world situation of one of change and flux. Defense of the socialist countries in the event of world war or support of revolution in capitalist countries, depending on the changing world situation, could be the cutting edge of proletarian internationalism. Whatever, the main internationalist duty of the U.S.A. proletariat is to make proletarian revolution in the U.S.!

The third point of the article is that the DP gives an incomplete summation of the world situation because it doesn’t say the principle contradiction in the world today is between the national liberation struggles and the superpowers. It would be incorrect to identify a contradiction as principal today because of the rapidly changing world situation. Our analysis of what is principal would be shakey at best and even if it was right could be wrong tomorrow.

Finally, the slogan, “Workers and Oppressed Peoples, Unite!” is proposed to replace “Workers of the World, Unite!” A quote from Lenin and that the Chinese used this slogan against the revisionists are used as arguments. First, the quote from Lenin is horribly misrepresented. Lenin said the slogan, “Workers, and Oppressed People, Unite!” was correct for communists to use addressing the “peoples of the East.” The Chinese comrades used the slogan in opposition to the revisionists in conflict over the national and colonial question. They never replaced “Workers of All Countries, Unite!” as the general slogan. The slogan proposed is correct and could be used on the national and colonial question but a communist would never use it to replace “Workers of the World, Unite!”

The general error Article “Two” makes is to break with a scientific Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world situation and puts forward the subjective moralism of the petty bourgeoisie.


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Clarify: The meaning of the DP and the latest document on the question of war and the international united front.

1) Imperialism is the cause of war. Contention between the two superpowers is driving them toward world war...not the isolation caused by the international united front, or the struggles of the working class and its allies around the world against the superpowers. External causes (international united front) become operative through internal contradictions (the laws of imperialism). Whether or not the superpowers are being battered by the international united front, there would be an increased danger of world war because of the nature of imperialism. Not to make this crystal clear leaves us open to telling the masses that it is the people’s resistance that is increasing the danger of world war. The revisionist line says...“Don’t struggle, you might start a world war. A single spark can start a holocaust,” etc.

2) Also, in terms of the IUF itself-it’s not that there’s a positive side (it can temporarily prevent war) and a negative side (it increases the danger of war). The IUF is not a 50-50 thing. It can only advance the struggle of the working class and its allies, whether there is a war or not; i.e., it can temporarily prevent war, but even if there is war, it will put the working class in a more favorable position in terms of its own struggle, and in terms of the weakness and isolation of the imperialists. The IUF can only help the working class, and weaken and hurt the superpowers. Again, not making this clear means putting forward that the interests of the struggles of oppressed peoples, nations and countries are in contradiction with those who don’t want a world war.

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Article Two in the “Other Articles” section of Journal No. 3 is incorrect in the line that it takes to oppose the DP’s line on fascism, pp. 42-43. It falls into the error of not seeing the way to fight fascism is by taking up that fight as part of the overall revolutionary struggle. This view advocates that the proletariat give up its strategic aim of revolution.

First, the article says that the “draft programme states that the only way to prevent fascism is to make proletarian revolution.” The DP does not say that. It says, “the only way to prevent fascism for sure is to make revolution.” (my emphasis) The article sees only two alternatives, either the proletariat launches armed insurrection and establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat, or it establishes a “broad anti-fascist People’s Front” to oppose fascism. The article says the DP gives up the fight against fascism with a dogmatic call for revolution. This is wrong. The DP calls for a resolute fight against all preparations and attempts at fascism, but, as ”part of the general revolutionary offensive against the rule of the monopoly capitalists.”

The article says the alternative of a United Front Against Fascism is only a temporary and tactical reorientation, but it seems to be a strategic replacement for the revolutionary strategy of the proletariat, the United Front Against Imperialism (UFAI). What would be the difference if it was only tactical? That it would take up immediate demands and struggles to curb or fight fascism? The UFAI takes up those struggles as part of the revolutionary struggle. Perhaps tactical alliances with sections of the bourgeoisie resisting fascism? The UFAI calls for using contradictions among the bourgeoisie. Well, what then??

It seems that the alternative advocated by this article boils down to a plea to the “liberal” bourgeoisie: “Please help us, the proletariat and its allies aren’t strong enough to lead the fight against fascism. The proletariat and its allies will follow you.” The alternative is to give up revolution and in the last analysis, accept fascism. No Way! I support the DP’s position of fighting fascism as part of the overall revolutionary struggle with the UFAI as the only strategy.